By May 2, 2017 Read More →


by Eric Benson

If you love music, you’re gonna love this

I know it’s time to get my tomatoes and veggies in the ground when I go down to the downtown Farmers’ Market – fresh bouquets of spring vegetables and wares for sale with customers strolling along with their bags of goodies and kids in tow.

Blue Monday Invitational Jam returns to the Barkin’ Dog Grill this May 8th with Ultra Lounge and special guests on the Latin side. We will be doing a belated Cinco De Mayo celebration on the Monday following the 5th with Cuban virtuoso pianist Gustavo Ramirez, Cuban master percussionist Carlos Caro and Danilo Pais on lead vocals and percussion. We will be playing Jazz, Blues, R & B, and a whole lot of Latin music for listening and dancing. The 7-piece house band is a super group of all the best players in the area. Ultra Lounge, Blue Monday Band, features: lead vocalist, guitar and bass player Dave Sousa, Johnny Valdes guitar, Tim Allen bass, vocals, Dave Hawkes on drums, Eric Benson & Pat Governor on keys, and horn section: Andrew Rosenblum Sax, trumpet, Kevin Marin Trumpet, and Jamie Dubberly trombone. Show from 7 to 10 PM with food and drink available in an all age venue. Call the Dog for reservations: 572-2341. If you play, come on down and sit in with the best musicians in the area, it’s gonna’ be smoking!

The Barkin’ Dog Grill for May features: 5th The mighty Tim Allen and Patty Castillo show; 8th Blue Monday Party doing a belated Cinco de Mayo celebration with Gustavo Ramirez piano, Carlos Caro percussion , Odalys’ Caro piano, Danilo Pais on lead vocal and percussion with house band Ultra Lounge; 9thGillian Wegener poetry night; 12th Hot Club Faux Gitante Gypsy Jazz; 19th Valley Jazz Collective; 20thHighway 99 Band; and 27th Me & You Band. And every Thursday Jazz Invitational Jam with the mighty Dave Dow keyboards.

And John Griswold is bringing in Michael Jackson tribute “Foreverland” June 3rd to Luca Winery Ripon. They are an electrifying 14 piece tribute to the music of Michael Jackson that were a hit of last year’s summer season. All agreed that they were one of the most fun bands they had ever seen. So, what better to kick off with them this year…set the tone. Between all the front line singers, one or the other of them can pretty much nail the tunes. Musically they are spot-on. Also part of the festivities: Dancing, art show, dinner, no-host wine tasting, several wine bars, pre-show entertainment/music, and coffee and dessert are available. There are three levels of seating: Lawn, General, Prime and VIP. Ticketing is online through website at and you click there on the Eventbrite logo and see all the options.
Off the beaten track the West Side Theatre in Newman brings in a Neil Young Tribute show May 20th, Tribe of the Red Horse. Check out for the details.
One of the newer venues bringing in live music in our hometown is the Portal, located at 1324 Coldwell Ave. A converted warehouse space with a dedicated stage with lineup and Hammond B-3 organ! The lowdown on the how down for what’s coming up in May: 6th Stevie Ray Vaughn Tribute Show featuring Dave Sousa and Friends, Lovestruck featuring Catfish Daniels as Stevie Ray, and May 13th “let’s celebrate life; a reunion of the souls with Jon Kemp, 4th annual party featuring all star band, with food truck and full bar available. Mr. Uncle Lonny Presents making it happen.
Come back out for Third Thursday Art Walk 5 to 9:00 PM for some great art and music in the downtown! Lowdown on the jam session in the downtown: Queen Bean Sundays open mike night also in an all age environment. So take some time out to hear some live music and the arts of our own town as well this month, think globally and act locally. All the best, peace out! Eric Benson, cell 209- 918-7033.



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